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Thu, Sep 01



The Tableau Collection by Angelo Ippolito

An exhibit of Angelo Ippolito's work. Binghamton University Professor Emeritus Angelo Ippolito was an artist who was part of the New York school of Abstract Expressionism in the 1950’s.

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Time & Location

Sep 01, 2016, 7:00 PM

Vestal, 328 Vestal Pkwy E, Vestal, NY 13850, USA

About the event

Binghamton University Professor Emeritus Angelo Ippolito was an artist who was part of the New York school of Abstract Expressionism in the 1950’s. Ippolito was one of the founders of the Tanger Gallery, an artist –run space that showed renowned artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns among many other artists.

Ippolito emigrated from Italy at age nine. His father was a house painter with plans of making a fortune in the United States and going back home to Italy. Unfortunately it was the 1920’s and the depression hit. His father’s dream of returning to Italy a rich man did not materialize. The young Ippolito amused himself at school in Brooklyn by drawing. When a plan to train and work as a draughtsman did not work out, Ippolito found himself wandering through museums looking at paintings. He joined his father as a house painter for a while and began to feel the pull of the brush. “I was in my glory. I used to paint pictures all over the walls. I had the complete freedom to paint anything I wished.”

Angelo joined the military on the ski corps. He graduated as a corporal with a GI Bill. He checked into many of the art schools around New York but was not in agreement with what was being taught at that time. He went to Paris and found what he was looking for when he arrived in Rome. There he found his heritage and the incredible light and atmosphere of Rome. Ippolito would return  to Italy again on a Fulbright Grant.

In 1971 Angelo Ippolito joined the faculty at the State University of New York at Binghamton.  He wanted to live in the country and bought a house on Powederhouse Road in Vestal.  He was a known painter, and a collector of unusual objects. He put together a series of tableaus that are strange, comical and tell a surreal story. The term “tableau” is translated as “living picture.” The works seem to capture a vibrancy and immediacy that is apparent in all of Ippolito’s work.

The tableaus were left in the house after Mr. Ippolito passed away and became the possession of the new owners when they purchased the house on Powderhouse Road.  Mr. and Mrs. Gary Burnard generously donated the

collection of tableaus to the gallery at SUNY BROOME and we are fortunate to be able to bring them here to The Vestal Museum.

Abstract Expressionism is a term applied to a movement in American painting that flourished in New York City after World War II, sometimes referred to as the New York School or, more narrowly, as action painting. The varied work produced by the Abstract Expressionists resists definition as a cohesive style; instead, these artists shared an interest in using abstraction to convey strong emotional or expressive content. These artists moved away from European traditions of painting to create a distinctly American kind of art, which both acknowledged and challenged the domination of early 20th century giants such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Vasily Kandinsky.

The first generation of Abstract Expressionism flourished between 1943 and the mid-’50s. The movement shifted the art world’s focus from Europe (specifically Paris) to New York in the postwar years. For Abstract Expressionists, the authenticity or value of an artwork lay in its directness and immediacy of expression. A painting is meant to be a revelation of the artist’s authentic identity. The gesture, the artist’s ‘signature,’ is evidence of the actual process of the work’s creation. It is in reference to this aspect of the work that critic Harold Rosenberg coined the term “action painting” in 1952: “At a certain moment the canvas began to appear to one American painter after another as an arena in which to act—rather than as a space in which to reproduce, re-design, analyze, or ‘express’ an object, actual or imagined. What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event.”

Another path lay in the expressive potential of color. Rothko, Newman, and Still, for instance, created art based on simplified, large-format, color-dominated fields. The impulse was, in general, reflective and cerebral, with pictorial means simplified in order to create a kind of elemental impact. Rothko and Newman, among others, spoke of a goal to achieve the “sublime” rather than the “beautiful,” harkening back to Edmund Burke in a drive for the grand, heroic vision in opposition to a calming or comforting effect.

Paul, Stella. “Abstract Expressionism.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2004)

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